Some good news this morning in the wake of the devastating Notre Dame cathedral fire:
Many of the most valuable works of art inside Notre Dame Cathedral were saved by firefighters and have been relocated to safety, French Culture Minister Franck Riester told reporters on Tuesday.
Items rescued include the Crown of Thorns, which some believe was placed on the head of Jesus and which the cathedral calls its "most precious and most venerated relic." The linen Tunic of St Louis was also saved, and both items have been moved to Paris City Hall, Riester said.
Other works are being taken to Paris' renowned art museum, the Louvre, and relocation will continue throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.
"As for the large artwork, the “May de Notre-Dame”, this can be moved from Notre-Dame from Friday morning," he said. "It seems from a first examination that while the fire has not caused any damage, there is some smoke damage."
"We’ll move these items safely to the Louvre storage facilities, where they will be dehumidified, protected, conserved and restored," he added.
Riester also said the famous rose windows at the north and south of the cathedral "do not appear for now to have sustained catastrophic damage."
CNN reports that French billionaires and companies have pledged over $450 million so far to help rebuild the iconic Notre Dame cathedral:
The largest donation announced Tuesday was from LVMH Group (LVMHF), which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy. The company and the family of CEO Bernard Arnault promised €200 million ($226 million).
The company said in a statement that the donation showed "solidarity with this national tragedy" and that funds would be used to rebuild this "extraordinary cathedral" and symbol of French heritage and unity.
LVMH will also make its creative and financial teams available to help with rebuilding and soliciting donations.